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Dame Gillian Weir On Radio 3


handsoff
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Dame Gillian is the subject of 3 "Artist Focus" programmes on R3 this week. See...

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/artistfocus/

 

... for outline details. There's also Reubke 's Sonata on the 94th Psalm (again DGW) on Wednesday at 10.58am

 

Rob Cowan has just played Michael Murray's recording of JSB's Toccata in F from the Methuen Hall in the USA. I find that piece one of the most satisfying of Bach's Toccatas - lovely flowing lines, nice modulations and, of course, a good tune! Rob is decidely organ friendly; all we need to do is wean him away from Bach and on to something more adventurous. I've suggested that the Final from Vierne's 1st Symphony should have a wide appeal - preferably Jeremy Filsell's recording from St. Ouen.

 

Speaking of that Final, I played the Cochereau disc of it yesterday and found it a tad fast. I'm sure I'm on thin ice here but it was so fast that something seemed to be lost.

 

P

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Speaking of that Final, I played the Cochereau disc of it yesterday and found it a tad fast. I'm sure I'm on thin ice here but it was so fast that something seemed to be lost.

I don't know the Cochereau recording, but it is certainly a common problem with this piece. In my view most people play it too fast - probably including me. Get it right and it bowls along comfortably at an irresistable, foot-tapping rollick. Play it too fast and you just get empty virtuosity. Filsell's performance is about as fast as it can comfortably go. It can take a slightly slower performance easily (at least in a resonant acoustic).

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I don't know the Cochereau recording, but it is certainly a common problem with this piece. In my view most people play it too fast - probably including me. Get it right and it bowls along comfortably at an irresistable, foot-tapping rollick. Play it too fast and you just get empty virtuosity. Filsell's performance is about as fast as it can comfortably go. It can take a slightly slower performance easily (at least in a resonant acoustic).

 

Rollin Smith's book on Vierne (page 589) states that Vierne got extremely upset when he heard the finale to Symphony No 1 played too fast and it also states that Vierne himself was happy for it to be played at mimim 72 instead of minim 76. Too many people seem to put display of flashy technique before projection of the music. I am mindful of a recording of a well-known movement from a Widor symphony (not No 5) by a player of incredible technique, accuracy and rhythmic drive - all very enviable - but the performance is reduced to the level of trivia by a ridiculously fast tempo. I haven't heard the recordings referred to above so cannot comment on those, but the acoustics of the building must be taken into account; I am giving a recital tomorrow in a building with an echo of 5 seconds+ and, hopefully, will show that I have taken this into acocunt.

 

Malcolm Kemp

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Thank you for the replies.

 

The notes to the Jeremy Finsell recording shows a time of 6'32" and the Pierre Cochereau 5'27". As Vox Humana says, the former is fast enough and remains hummable (or "pommable"!) but the latter, whilst showing incredibly fiery fingers, strikes me as a bit garbled, with a loss of detail, especially in the vast spaces of Notre Dame de Paris. Strangely, the rest of the recordings in the set don't strike me as being out of step with what one might regard as normal. Maybe PC found it just too easy! I should love to hear it on the St. Sulpice organ, the action of which must force a slightly more measured pace.

 

As a 16 year old village organist I was once asked to play it at a wedding and managed to convince the groom, from the village, whom I knew quite well that the IIP...

 

http://npor.emma.cam.ac.uk/cgi-bin/Rsearch...ec_index=N05908

 

... wasn't really the right instrument for the job. That saved me a few weeks stress! He settled for some John Stanley and gave me a bottle of champagne a couple of weeks later with a note saying that he had much preferred my choice to his. Strangely, the same piece of JS was played at my wedding without any prompting from me.

 

 

P

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I don't know the Cochereau recording, but it is certainly a common problem with this piece. In my view most people play it too fast - probably including me. Get it right and it bowls along comfortably at an irresistable, foot-tapping rollick. Play it too fast and you just get empty virtuosity. Filsell's performance is about as fast as it can comfortably go. It can take a slightly slower performance easily (at least in a resonant acoustic).

 

Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin plays it at 6.20 from S. Sulpice on a recording I have (Priory?) - that sounds a good pace for that machine.

 

AJJ

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Speaking of Gillian Weir, I recieved a text from my father yesterday afternoon saying he was going to evensong at Durham Cathedral and DGW was playing, poor, poor him, he cannot stand Messian, and guess what she was playing :lol:

 

regards

Peter

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Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin plays it at 6.20 from S. Sulpice on a recording I have (Priory?) - that sounds a good pace for that machine.

 

AJJ

 

Thanks Alastair,

 

I've just done a search and the only one of S-V C-C's discs I could find with this on is FESTIVO 6961 912 and no-one in Europe seems to stock it :lol:

 

This is the menu...

 

Gabriel Pierné: Trois Pièces pour Grand Orgue op.29 n°1, Prélude

Léon Boëllmann: Deuxième Suite op.27 n°2 et 3, Allegretto con moto, Andantino

Henry Mulet: Dix Esquisses Byzantines n°10, Toccata "Tu es Petra"

Johannes Brahms: Onze Chorals op. posth. 122 n°4 "Herzlich tut mich erfreuen"

Camille Saint-Saëns: Deux Improvisations, n°6 Pro defunctis, n°7 Allegro giocoso

Félix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Sonate en Ré majeur op.65 n°5, Andante (Choral), Andante con moto, Allegro maestoso

Jean-Jacques Grunenwald: Cinq Pièces pour l'Office Divin, Entrée, Offertoire, Elévation, Communion, Sortie

Louis Vierne: Première Symphonie op. 14 n°1 & 5, Prélude, Final

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Ooops - missed that somehow.

 

Thanks Jim, I check it out tomorrow..

 

P

 

Ah - his must have been my Priory connection - the CD is at work so I couldn't check!

 

AJJ

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I've got that CD. Vierne's Final is nicely done, but I'm much more thrilled by the Prélude on the previous track, in which SVCC masterfully builds up dramatic tension in a way unlike any other recording of that piece I've heard so far.

Better even than Cochereau? Knowing acc's excellent taste, it must be good! Having listened to the Cochereau CD again today after reading the earlier comments, I totally agree about the Final, but I thought his Prélude was superb.

JC

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Speaking of Gillian Weir, I recieved a text from my father yesterday afternoon saying he was going to evensong at Durham Cathedral and DGW was playing, poor, poor him, he cannot stand Messian, and guess what she was playing :blink:

 

regards

Peter

 

 

Chicago?

 

(Think about it)

 

P

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Rollin Smith's book on Vierne (page 589) states that Vierne got extremely upset when he heard the finale to Symphony No 1 played too fast and it also states that Vierne himself was happy for it to be played at mimim 72 instead of minim 76.

I tried m = 72 last night. It seemed very slow at first, though once I got into it it seemed very comfortable. Yonks ago I pencilled a timing into my copy - 7 mins - so I suppose I must have beeen playing it at about this speed (I've not done the maths). My timing I would aim for these days is around 6' 40", so not much different.

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Festivo CDs should be readily obtainable in the UK. Priory are the distributors, have a word with them first. The disc is still listed on Festivo's website.

 

Duly ordered by phone this lunchtime from the extremely nice people at Priory for £13.50 inc P&P.

 

Thanks again for the pointer.

 

P

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Meanwhile, Classic FM decided to have some feature about "a battle of the organs" in their magazine.

 

I was innocently drivng down the A45 at 2am when this came up, and to my delight, the presenter announced that we were going to hear some organ music. I fiddled around with the (very good) new Volvo truck radio; getting the balances right and setting the sound-slope to "classical" rather than "heavy metal", and ......waited awhile.

 

"Now we hear 'Master Tallis' testicles' by........

 

That was as much as I wanted to hear, as I flicked back to "Club Classics" on Heart Radio.

 

:blink:

 

 

 

MM

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handsoff - pleased to be of help! As an aside S-V C-C is a charming personality, maybe some members of this group have met her. She played for us when IAO visited Paris in 2003 (?) and I purchased a CD from her personally when she visited Chester many years ago, which she signed "a big thank you to you for loving my music". A lovely lady.

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handsoff - pleased to be of help! As an aside S-V C-C is a charming personality, maybe some members of this group have met her. She played for us when IAO visited Paris in 2003 (?) and I purchased a CD from her personally when she visited Chester many years ago, which she signed "a big thank you to you for loving my music". A lovely lady.

 

Indeed. And what a splendid player; I heard her when she played at Glasgow cathedral a few years ago, and made great music on that rather nasty instrument.

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Indeed. And what a splendid player; I heard her when she played at Glasgow cathedral a few years ago, and made great music on that rather nasty instrument.

Which Glasgow Cathedral would that be Episcopal or CofS? The RC Cath has a Willis II seem to remember, much nicer.

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"Which Glasgow Cathedral would that be Episcopal or CofS? The RC Cath has a Willis II seem to remember, much nicer."

 

I heard S.V.C-C play in the Episcopal Cathedral in 2002. It was fabulous, but the organ is truly dreadful. Until the 1960s it was a probably very fine 1909 Harrison, HNB ruined it in the 1960s and managed to ruin it some more in the early 90s (at which time they removed the Great 16'!) The church is quite beautiful since its restoration. The C of S Cathedral was a Father Willis which was again probably wonderful but subsequent rebuilds by Willis III (who rebuilt almost all of his grandfather's larger organs in the city to their detriment), Walker and Harrisons (1996) have left it rather scarred. The Catholic Cathedral has the Willis II mentioned by Phillip Wells, which was second hand I think, installed in the 1980s, and, as far as I know now rather neglected. Shame, its easily the best instrument of the three.

 

Greetings

 

Bazuin

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handsoff - pleased to be of help! As an aside S-V C-C is a charming personality, maybe some members of this group have met her. She played for us when IAO visited Paris in 2003 (?) and I purchased a CD from her personally when she visited Chester many years ago, which she signed "a big thank you to you for loving my music". A lovely lady.

 

I heard and met her at St. Sulpice on one of my jaunts to Paris, bought one of her cd's that she had conveniently placed on a little table next to a bust of Widor

Regards

Peter

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